Accused child killer's trial set for June 2014 - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Accused child killer's trial set for June 2014

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Brenda Stokes appeared for her arraignment in Las Vegas Justice Court on March 6, 2013. (inset, LVMPD) Brenda Stokes appeared for her arraignment in Las Vegas Justice Court on March 6, 2013. (inset, LVMPD)

The family of a 10-year-old girl who was brutally stabbed to death must wait more than a year for her accused killer to stand trial. 

On Monday, a judge set Brenda Stokes' trial date for June 2014. Stokes also is charged with attacking a blackjack dealer at the Bellagio the same day Jade Morris was killed.

"Everybody says she's in a better place," said Phillip Morris, Jade Morris' father. "There's no better place than her being right next to me. I miss my baby."

Morris said it's a struggle for him to carry on with his life now that a big part of his heart is gone. His 10-year-old daughter Jade was repeatedly stabbed and tortured. Her body was found in a dirt lot in North Las Vegas last December.

The girl's accused killer and his ex-girlfriend, Brenda Stokes, won't face trial until 15 months from now.

Stokes faced a judge Monday and was appointed a public defender who specializes in death penalty cases. Stokes couldn't afford to keep her private attorney. Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson said it's not unusual for a trial to take a year.

"The facts will show this 10-year-old child was brutally murdered," said Wolfson. "That's what we believe the evidence will show. This case takes on a heightened importance."

Wolfson said given the severity of the crime the case will have periodic status checks to make sure the attorneys are on track for the June date.

"We have about 85 murder cases right now that have the death penalty filed," said Wolfson. "Eighty-five cases that have been in the system for years."

No one wants a quick resolution more than Phillip Morris. He still talks to his daughter as if she's right next to him. He said he can't wait for the day to tell her justice was served.

"You can't fight the inevitable," said Morris. "Her day is going to come."

Police said Stokes slashed a co-worker's face with razor blades at the Bellagio hours after Morris was killed. The district attorney's office combined the charges stemming from that attack with this trial.

According to Wolfson, in the last 35 years 13 people were executed in death penalty cases.

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